Twice baked potatoes are delicious anytime of year but particularly comforting in the winter months. We barely had a summer this year in Seattle, it was a blip on the radar and fall has descended with blustery days and the leaves already starting to change colors.
I love fall though so this is not a problem for me but I'm not sure a general survey in Seattle would return that same reaction. Anger and outrage at the injustice of it all is more likely. But they'd have to admit those leaves are beautiful.
I brought some twice baked potatoes over to a friend's house a while ago, only to discover that she absolutely adores them. This was great news. She is one of those friends that I feel so, so lucky to have and to be able to bring joy to her by making her something she loves to eat, is what makes me love cooking. So I think about twice baked potatoes more than I used to.
Twice Baked Potatoes with Leeks and Jarlsberg
Serves 4 as a side, or 2 as a main
2 Russet potatoes
2 Leeks (medium sized, about 1 - 1.5 inches in diameter)
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
4 T butter
1/2 c sour cream
2/3 c grated Jarlsberg
1/4 c milk
freshly ground black pepper
Turn the oven to 375 degrees.
Scrub the russets clean, brush the potatoes with olive oil and place in the oven. Bake until a fork slides in easily, about an hour. Wait until they are cool enough to handle and slice in half long ways, so they can lie flat. Scoop out the flesh, leaving 1/4 inch of the potato intact on all sides. *
Turn the oven up to 400.
Slice the white and light green parts of the leeks into thin rounds, loosely chop the rounds and then give them a good wash (leeks can carry dirt inside their folds). Heat 2 T of butter in a skillet over medium-low heat, add the leeks, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook until the leeks are soft, about 10 - 12 minutes. Add the other 2 T of butter and stir until it is melted. Turn off the heat.
Mash the potatoes and mix in the sour cream until their are no large lumps. Mix in the jarlsberg and cooked leeks. Add the milk and stir until blended. Scoop the mix in the potatoes mounding it up. Bake in the oven until cooked through and the top starts to turn golden brown, about 15 - 20 minutes.
If desired, broil for a few minutes for a crispier top.
* The New Best Recipe has four twice baked potato recipes and they suggest one additional step that I sometimes throw in as it does provide an extra crispy shell.
After baking the potatoes, scoop out the flesh and then pop them back in the oven for ten minutes or so to firm up the inside and outside shell before stuffing and baking them.
Serving Suggestion: A simple salad (for a light meal).